Tag Archives: Tourism

Is It Time To Stop Reading Shakespeare?

I never really liked Shakespeare.

Never hated the guy, mind you- downright enjoyed a few of his plays (The Tempest, Coriolanus, Hamlet). Still, I never really could bring myself to relish the bard’s works with the same zealous enthusiasm of the drama geeks and English majors.

With that in mind, you might spare me perhaps a little of the horrified gasping when I ask:

Is it time to stop reading Shakespeare?

And I ask that with all sincerity. I’ve made no secret about my general dislike of the theater and the culture surrounding it, but I’m not here to talk about those guys.

You know the type. Melodramatic airheads who’ll actually only refer to this as “the Scottish play”…

I’m talking about the actual works of William Shakespeare here.

Why still read ’em?

After all, with every passing year, we drift further and further away from those stories. In spite the film industry churning out one or two adaptations or modernizations of Shakespeare’s plays, there’s only so many ways to re-imagine Romeo and Juliet.

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The Ethics of Tourism: Considering A Small Place in the Traveller’s Era

Is it immoral to be a tourist?

A few weeks ago we returned from spending a week long vacation in Cuba. You may have even read my last post with suggestions for anyone else who might be interested in traveling there.

So, why, out of the blue, am I asking you about the morality of tourism?

Well, it’s probably because of Jamaica Kincaid and her book, A Small Place.

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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Trip to Cuba

As you probably remember from last week, John and I just went on our belated honeymoon to Cuba.

cars

And yes, there were awesome old cars everywhere.

We only went for one week, but we had a blast. The beaches were just as warm and beautiful as I’d been picturing. There were cigars available everywhere, just like John had been hoping. And the architecture in Old Havana was just as beautifully eclectic as you’d imagine for a country with such a fascinating history.

The only problem was, I really didn’t plan out our trip at all. Our entire summer was one crazy adventure after another and this was our final journey, so I was too busy planning other things to do much more than book an all-inclusive. While we did love our little escape, there are a few things we learned along the way that I wish I had known beforehand. Continue reading

Shame Day: The British Monarchy

That’s right: the British Monarchy. I’m taking them down.

Again.

Being a radical lefty, there’s no one easier out there for me to bash than a woman making a speech about austerity measures while wearing a golden crown encrusted with diamonds pillaged from war-torn Africa and impoverished India.I have, in fact, done so before on another blog, and got chewed out by a Brit for daring to disrespect “my queen.” I responded to the (presumably) pasty twit that I’m not actually British and therefore am not a subject of an inbred German family.

I have never felt more American

So if I’ve touched on the subject before, why do it again?

Because this is something that really is a shame.

Let’s talk about money.

You can’t really argue with the fact that the money- tax money- used to prop up this family could be put to better use, “better use” being pretty much anything else- from reducing education costs to building new roads. Heck, even studying the mating habits of the sea otter would have more pay-off.

Because they are freaking adorable…

Now I can hear all you romantics and loyalists shriek out:

“BUT GORDON! IT’S NOT THAT MUCH! VERY LITTLE CASH ACTUALLY GOES INTO SUPPORTING THE MONARCHY!”

“Very little cash”? The queen- the queen alone- gets an allowance of a little more than a million dollars a year. Is that a lot of money?

Yeah, it is.

It’s a million dollars per year for having been born into one family and not another. It’s a million dollars that could be spent relieving poverty. And of course, it’s not just a million dollars. Not when you take into account everything else done for her. The security, the transportation, the servants- heck, the freaking A/C for any one of her royal residences probably costs more than I’d make in three years.

“BUT GORDON! WHAT OF THE TOURISM?”

Ah yes, the tourism.

Who could live without this stuff?

Because if the queen went away, the castles, the diamonds, the viking graves, the monuments- those would all just vanish as well. Tourists do not go to Britain expecting to have a face-to-face conversation with the queen. Tourism is not going to die with the Mountbatten-Windsors. Besides, if your entire economy is built on the frail shoulders of an octogenarian, you really don’t deserve to have a civilization to start with.

“IT’S DIFFERENT! THEY’VE GOT A CELEBRITY FOLLOWING!”

So does Honey Boo Boo. So does Justin Bieber.

“THIS OBSESSION CREATES JOBS!”

You think these people’s undeserved fame and fortune winds up creating jobs? Heck, war creates jobs, that doesn’t make it something worth pursuing. Greed, gluttony, envy and cowardice have given us thousands of jobs- some causes aren’t worth the effects.

“DIPLO-“

Don’t you dare say diplomacy. Don’t you dare.

An elderly woman with a funny hat isn’t going to do anything a bunch of children holding hands can’t- heck, Severn Suzuki did more in her five minute speech at the UN at the age of 13 than the Queen has done in her entire reign.

Let’s grow up, people.

Princesses are not from Disney. Princes do not sprout from frogs [I don’t think Gordon understands how fairy tales work. -Evan]. Royalty are inbred leeches draining funds from society that could be used help people who are actually productive. 1 million dollars isn’t much? Tell that to a bum begging for change. Tell that to a ghetto kid trying to get into college. Tell that to a war widow. This drooling over the royal family isn’t simply childish, it’s barbaric. There’s nothing quaint and charming about a handful of human beings enjoying fame and fortune simply for having been born.

No, that’s just a shame.